Health ministry to meet with JMDA tomorrow about out-of-work doctors

Health ministry to meet with JMDA tomorrow about out-of-work doctors

Monday, July 13, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, is tomeet with the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA) tomorrow to address unemployment issues facing junior doctors.

Tufton made the disclosure on Twitter moments ago.

The meeting follows reports that on July 1, when the 2020 medical year began, doctors across the various health regions were being sent home after they reported to health centres and hospitals to assume their duties.

According to JMDA President, Dr Elon Thompson, those affected are senior house officer (SHO) doctors who are seeking to transition to medical officer grade one (MO1) positions.

The JMDA president said he has received more than 40 reports of doctors who are without jobs, but he expects the number to increase as members indicate that it is closer to 100 and reporting is being done in an ad hoc fashion.

Further, other doctors shared that on the last contractual day, June 30, they were handed back their applications for MO1 positions and told no jobs were available.

It has been reported that the young doctors are being terminated due to budgetary constraints caused by COVID-19.

However, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in a statement yesterday, said there is no fiscal restriction in filling the posts established within Regional Health Authorities.

The ministry said it understands there are delays at some facilities in the contracting of doctors due to administrative arrangements that are to be finalised before contracts can be issued.

It alsoassured that the full cadre of clinical staff at all facilities are being maintained during the period of the pandemic and that all efforts are being made to ensure that the health regions and the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) are provided with sufficient resources to respond to the needs of the health system.

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